Word: Pope Francis in the noon prayer

Here you will find the full text of the speech that Pope Francis gave this Sunday during the Angelus Prayer on the Solemnity of Peter and Paul in a working translation of Vatican Radio.

The official German version of this speech will soon be available on the official Vatican website.

Dear brothers and sisters!

The Gospel of today’s liturgy, Solemnity of the Patron [Schutzheiligen] Rome, quotes the words that Peter addressed to Jesus: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:16). It is a profession of faith which Peter makes, not because of human understanding, but because God the Father has inspired him (cf. v. 17). For the fisherman Simon, called Peter, it was the beginning of the journey: it took a long time for the meaning of these words to penetrate deeply into his life and completely envelop him. There is a “learning” of faith that also touched the apostles Peter and Paul, as well as each of us. We also believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God, but it takes time, patience and a lot of effort. Humility until our thoughts and actions fully correspond to the gospel.

The apostle Peter experienced this directly. Ironically, after he had testified to Jesus of his faith and Jesus had told him he would suffer and be condemned to death, he rejected it because he considered it incompatible with the Messiah.

He even feels compelled to rebuke the master, who in turn growls at him, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me because you mean not what God wants, but what people want ”(v. 23).

Let us consider for a moment: doesn’t the same thing happen to us? We repeat the creed, speak it with faith, but when we face the harsh trials of life, everything seems to wane. We are inclined to protest the Lord and tell him that it is not fair that there must be other, more direct, less burdensome ways. We experience an internal conflict of the believer who believes in Jesus, who trusts him, but at the same time feels that it is difficult to follow Him and tempts us to seek other paths than that of the Master. St. Piotr experienced this inner drama and it took time and maturity.

At first he was terrified of the cross, but towards the end of his life he boldly witnessed the Lord to such an extent that, according to tradition, he allowed himself to be crucified upside down so as not to be equal to the master.

The apostle Paul also experienced the slow maturation of faith and experienced moments of uncertainty and doubt. The appearance of the risen Lord on the road to Damascus, which changed him from persecutor to Christian, should be seen as the beginning of the road that brought the Apostle to endure crises, failures and the constant torment of “a thorn in the flesh” (cf. 2 Cor. Cor 12: 7) dealt with what he calls it. The path of faith is never a path, for anyone, not for Peter, not for Paul, for any Christian. The path of faith is not a road, it is demanding and sometimes arduous: even Paul, in becoming a Christian, had to gradually learn how to be a Christian, especially in times of trial.

In the light of this experience of the holy apostles Peter and Paul, each of us can ask ourselves: when I profess faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, do I do so knowing that I need to study further, or do I do so assuming that “I have already understood everything”? Again, when I face difficulties and trials, do I get discouraged or complain, or learn to use them as an opportunity to grow in my trust in the Lord? Because he – as Paul writes to Timothy – will deliver us from all evil works and save us in his kingdom of heaven (cf. 2 Tim 4:18). May the Virgin Mary, Queen of the Apostles, teach us to follow her in order to walk day by day on the path of peace.

(Vatican news)

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